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Tool belts are typically worn by people working in the field who need a place to keep their tools easily accessible in case they need them. Tool belts come in all shapes and sizes depending on what you're doing, and are a handy place to keep tools which are commonly used when working. This project is a twist on the typical tool belt, aimed at crafters and makers, allowing you to centrally store many tools out of the way yet still in easy reach.

This tool belt is able to hang some of my commonly used corded-tools above my workspace, such as soldering iron and glue gun. It's also able to hang extension cords, safety goggles and almost anything with a handle or hook.

Using an old belt and some plastic grommets you can hang your crafting tools vertically when not in use and free up some much-needed space on your workbench, this tidy solution keeps your tools as close as you like and is an alternative to a peg-board or shelf storage.

This instructable is entered in the Betaband Belt Reuse Challenge
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Enough talk, let's belt up some tools!

Step 1: Tools + Materials

This project requires minimal supplies, except for the belt I found all mine at the dollar store. The belt used in this project is leather, the grommets are plastic.

tools:
  • drill
  • drill bit (1/2")
  • utility knife
  • hammer
materials:
  • old belt
  • grommets ($dollar)
  • S-hooks ($dollar)
  • eye bolt ($dollar)

Safety Warning:
Ensure belt selected is in suitable condition to hold light-moderate weight. Cracked/splintered leather belts are not recommended as they may fail when hanging tools.

Step 2: Drill Belt

Before drilling, it's important to ensure the grommets and belt are compatible.
Ensure your belt is wide enough to accept the grommet and still have enough room left on either side so the belt can handle weight of tools when hung.

The belt used here is 31.8mm (1-1/4") wide, the grommets are 12.7mm (1/2") ID (interior diameter), leaving 9.5mm (3/8) of leather on each side. Drill openings along centerline of belt, I offset each opening by 15cm (6").

Step 3: Hammer in Grommets

Grommets are used to protect openings from splitting or tearing, made of plastic or metal and used on thin materials like plastic sheets and fabric. The most common place to find grommets in your everyday life is on lace-up shoes.

They may look like doughnuts but are more like sandwiches because the top and bottom of the grommet separate. Poke the bottom neck of the grommet through the opening in your material then place the top of the grommet over the bottom neck, you have now sandwiched your material between the grommet.
Place sandwiched grommet on a solid surface and strike top with hammer, snapping closed the grommet and securing it in place.

Step 4: Locate and Drill

This belt is to be hung from the ceiling. Since the belt will be holding some weight it needs to be secured to a structure to avoid it falling, in my garage I used a ceiling joist. Do not hang from gypsum, it will fall. Anchor to a solid structure.

With a joist located drill an opening for the eye bolt. Drill opening slightly smaller then the diameter of the threads of the eye bolt, this will allow the teeth to grip into the wood and create a solid anchor point.

With hole for eye bolt drilled, feed threaded end of eye bolt through belt buckle. Then, screw eye bolt into opening in ceiling. Use a screwdriver through eye to tighten bolt and give it a snug fit.

Step 5: Add S-hooks and Start Hanging

Once belt is installed add s-hooks and start hanging your tools.
The s-hooks I used were thin enough to have two through each grommet, making this tool belt able to store tools on both sides at each grommet point.

The limitation of the belt is determined by weight load, so consider the condition of your belt and which tools you want to hang. That being said, I was able to fully load my belt will all kinds of tools without any issue, as an extreme example I even loaded on my old circular saw. I would estimate this belt could hold 30kg (60lbs) easily.

This project freed my workbench of the usual tool clutter and has given me back some prime real estate, all while keeping my tools close by.
Great way too keep tools out of reach of the short people... :P
this is just what I needed over my workbench! I have tons of old leather belts as I use them for lots of things.thanks!
great way to use leftover belts, very handy as well. As usual very innovative.<br><br>Good work

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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